Cadet soars into the future with aviation scholarship


Photo by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF Ellisor family

POSING IN UNIFORM: Senior Aidan Ellisor poses at age 18 and at four wearing a flight suit. At the young age four Ellisor knew he wanted to be in the military and his efforts since earned him an appointment to the Air Force Academy.

Faith Lawrence, In-Depth Editor

Since elementary school, senior Aidan Ellisor hoped to join the military. He joined Bowie’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program to get one step closer to his goal of becoming an Air Force Officer.

Ellisor received three scholarships for his involvement in JROTC and academic excellence. Ellisor received a scholarship from Texas A&M University, Air Force flight school training program, and from the Air Force Academy; he accepted the scholarship to the Air Force Academy where he will train to become an Air Force Officer.

“I’m mostly looking forward to the stability of not having to worry about what I’m going to do and who I’m going to be,” Ellisor said. “I’m always looking forward to flying jet fighters.”

In fifth grade, Ellisor already knew he wanted to have a career in the Air Force.

“My [interest in the military] started at a very young age, actually on my graduation announcement my mom has a picture of me in a flight suit that I got this year for my flight scholarship,” Ellisor said. “She also has a picture of me when I was about three or four in another flight suit my uncle got me that I wore for Halloween. In fifth grade, we had to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up for our yearbook, and I wrote down Air Force Officer.”

Ellisor is the Vise Corps Commander of the JROTC class, which means he is the second in command of the corps. The Vise Corps Commander assists with the Corps Commander and JROTC instructors by doing things like coordinating events.

“He was always a leader,” JROTC Master Sergeant David Loyd said. “He always has a can-do attitude, an optimistic outlook, he plays by the rules, he’s somebody that I can put in charge, and it has been this way from very early on. He’s one of those cadets you can put in front of other students and you don’t have to worry about him because he’s going to take care of them and he’s not going to let them do stupid stuff and he’s not going to do stupid stuff.”

Many of Ellisor’s family members were involved in the military.

“All three of my uncles [went] into the Air Force, two of them pilots and one of them went to the academy,” Ellisor said. “I don’t believe that if I didn’t have the [familial] influence I had with my uncles, my mom and my grandfather that I would have gotten into the Air Force or the military at all.”

Out of the 9,894 students who applied for an appointment to the Air Force Academy, only 1,492 were offered admission, according to a demographic profile of the class of 2020.

“Nobody is going to get into any of the academies by being pushed by someone else,” Loyd said. “That push has to come from them inside, there is just too many hoops to jump through and too much paperwork; you’ve got to really want it. I think in every area of Aidan’s high school life, he has that drive. Whether it be grades, or football or the corps, he’s got that motivation. He hasn’t let anything get in his way.”

Ellisor’s involvement in the UIL Math Team led him to get a high SAT score his junior year. Students on the UIL Math Team learn math that goes beyond what is taught in high school math classes.

“He had to go outside the bounds of his classroom experience to achieve [the appointment], it’s something he did that was above and beyond,” UIL Math team supervisor Bill Russell said. “It’s something that very few people that come through my classes are able to do and he did it naturally.”

Since such a few number of applicants get offered an appointment at the Air Force Academy, Loyd thinks a high class standing helps a student’s chances in getting admitted.

“He is a phenomenal talent in terms of math,” Russell said. “He’s one of those rare people who just gets it, he understands things very quickly and very easily, I saw that very early on in our relationship. I tried to push him and get him to make the most of that. He got his appointment and everything he has gotten because he worked for it.”

Ellisor has received two national awards for his achievements in JROTC.

“I got the Order of Daedalians Award last year, which is very prestigious, it’s the second highest national award a cadet can get,” Ellisor said. “The year before I got the American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award. That was for scholastic excellence and wanting to pursue an Air Force career. The Daedalians Award was for good character, high academic achievement and military potential.”

Ellisor has been involved in JROTC since his freshman year. Being involved with JROTC helped him with other aspects of his high school career so he could be well rounded.

“The best thing I can call [JROTC] is a pillar to lean on,” Ellisor said. “Whenever I was feeling down, not myself, or I didn’t have a good game or practice at football or something else went wrong, ROTC was always there for me. It’s never let me down, it’s great. It’s really a family. Once you get into it, it’s hard to leave.”